St. Petersburg authorities want to organize cruise line with Helsinki

The city's authorities are interested in the soonest implementation of theproject on organizing a cruise line between St. Petersburg and Helsinki,Alexander Prokhorenko, deputy governor of St. Petersburg and head of thecity's foreign relations committee, declared commenting on the situationaround this project, the press service of the St. Petersburg administrationreported. The Finnish party has working practices of organizing a similarcruise line with Vyborg. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry does notrecognize this tourist route as a cruise (without change of passengers at aport), despite the corresponding UN Convention and special visa regime fortourists in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Russian Embassy in Finlandinsists on a common visa regime. In this event, ship operators will give upthese routes, as a EUR25 visa will require time and other expenses, theofficial specified.If this problem is not resolved and the tourist route does not function asit is planned, Russian budgets of all levels will lose up to $40m. The St.Petersburg administration has already sent corresponding letters to theForeign Ministry and the President asking to settle the situation..

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